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Analysts predict PlayStation 3 to overtake Xbox 360 sales soon

by William Schwartz

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Microsoft has made no secret of the glowing success that there console has had in the North American region over the past year.  Business is booming, the company is  selling plenty of Xbox 360 consoles and Kinect accessories, growing all the while.  Since last November when the Kinect was launched Microsoft has seen a continual and steady growth, putting some distance between the PlayStation brand and the Xbox 360 in North America.  The PlayStation 3 is the Xbox 360’s biggest rival, and a company that once had a stranglehold on the North American market circa 2003.  While the console has remained popular in the region, Microsoft has definitely taken a large chunk of the PlayStation pie that was the North American market.

Despite a year’s head start for Microsoft, Sony has made it a close race to this point, and analysts believe that the tipping point is about the happen, where Sony finally closes the gap of the one year headstart and moves into a comfortable second place finish in this generation.  Analysts from numerous investment and research companies concluded for the most part that Sony has a good chance of overtaking the Xbox 360 in worldwide sales.

“If one looks at the total amount of sales through the first 6 months of 2011, the PlayStation 3 has sold about 10% more than the Xbox 360, worldwide, so the PlayStation 3 is definitely gaining ground.” said Jesse Divnich of EEDAR.

“I still think PS3 has potential to ramp up hardware sales performance based on a stronger first party software library and more affordable hardware, but PS3 got off to a very slow start due to high price and fewer first party software hits than the competition. Hardware price was the bigger problem in the recent economic downturn when Xbox had a lead on production cost reduction and the launch price on Wii was extremely disruptive.” Billy Pidgeon of M2 Research told Industry Gamers.

“In terms of our forecasts, we have the PS3 sales matching Xbox 360 in 2011 but that still leaves them behind in cumulative sales. However, when we measure what we call active installed base or number of systems in use we forecast that the PS3 will reach the Xbox 360 this year. This is because the failure rate on many older Xbox 360 systems was high. I know personally I have gone through 3 Xbox 360 systems and still have my original PS3.” David Cole of DFC Intelligence explained.

The analysts in the interview had some interesting takes on how the next generation might play out, with one analyst believing that the Xbox may make a jump before the PlayStation to secure the core gamers with a new system and keep the Xbox 360 pumping out casual titles.  Interesting Stuff.  You can check out the full interview here.

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